Typically, people within a family buy plans for their electronic devices in a connected bundle. The first concern is you should not be using some type of reduced-rate “family plan” on your various devices during a divorce.
For example, if someone is using their Apple iPhone and their spouse has the iPhone and their children have the iPad, and one spouse is sending text messages through the bundle to maybe somebody they shouldn’t be sending text messages to, everybody else in the bundled package may be able to access those text messages.
If your devices are bundled with others in the household under a family plan, and you’re texting your lawyer, you can’t usually claim that the other person was eavesdropping because there is no expectation of privacy. It’s different than if someone hacks your computer and gets your password without your approval. In this case, there would be a reasonable expectation of privacy – you have a password-protected account and you don’t give that out to anyone.
However, when you text something on your iPhone, and it pops up on your children’s iPad, there wasn’t anyone maliciously or purposely who went in to take away that privacy from you.
Basically, if you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, then the attorney-client privilege is intact, but if you’re carelessly using shared devices, it might not be. If you want your privilege to remain intact, then uou should be using devices outside of your typical family product.
As it relates to social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, keep in mind that whatever you’re putting out there is going to be a consideration in any domestic relations case, whether the case is ongoing, or will be filed in the future. For example, taking a picture of yourself drinking a beer with your three-month-old infant sleeping on the couch behind you, is not something that you should be posting because the photo may be used against you in a custody fight.
We tell our clients when they choose to file any issue with domestic relations to stop using social media altogether.
As another example, if you claim that you don’t have any other employment but you have other work for which you’re paid in cash, there may not be any way to prove it until you post on your Facebook page that you are going to your other job.
Remember that even if you unfriend your spouse, you still have people in common, most likely who are going to see your page, report to your spouse or report to somebody that knows your spouse.
You also have to be careful of friends taking pictures with you and then posting it on their pages. Even if you don’t have your own page, they can post you doing something inappropriate or they can share that you were somewhere you said you weren’t. It’s not only your own page you have to be careful of but what your friends are posting of you as well.
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